43rd Annual Fiesta Bowl - Fiesta Bowl | Fiesta Bowl

National upstart No. 15 UCF authored one of the biggest upsets of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era, an offensive-flavored 52-42 victory over heavily favored No. 6 Baylor in the 43rd Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

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Shattering one Tostitos Fiesta Bowl record (94 total points) and nearly breaking another (1,106 total yards, second-highest total) while running 160 offensive plays, UCF, champion of the inaugural American Athletic Conference, and Baylor, a first-time Big 12 Conference champion, both appeared in their first BCS bowl games.

They entertained a national ESPN viewing audience with a non-stop offensive fiesta.

UCF, en route to the biggest win in school history, never trailed and bent but didn’t break in the face of Baylor’s lethal offense that set the NCAA record for points in a 13-game season (681) after leading the NCAA in total offense (624.5 yards per game) and scoring (53.3 points per game) during the regular season.

UCF spurted to an eye-opening 14-0 lead on 11- and two-yard rushing touchdowns by running back Storm Johnson on the Knights’ first two possessions that capped marches of 76 (six plays) and 51 (five plays) yards, respectively.

The Knights then survived turnovers on three consecutive second-quarter possessions — interception, interception and fumble. But the Bears only were able to turn the three takeaways into seven points, a 30-yard pass from quarterback Bryce Petty to wide receiver Levi Norwood that pulled Baylor within 14-13 with 5:05 to play in the second quarter.

UCF removed all doubt with three touchdowns and a field goal on four consecutive second-half possessions.

The Knights appeared to take control with back-to-back touchdown drives to end the third quarter (10-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Breshad Perriman) and begin the fourth stanza (15-yard rush by quarterback Blake Bortles) that gave the Knights a seemingly comfortable 42-28 lead with 13:37 to play.

But the Bears answered with a four-play, 53-yard touchdown drive, completed by running back Glasco Martin’s nine-yard six-point burst, and the UCF lead was cut to 42-35 and Baylor’s offense was ready to purr.

UCF calmly answered Baylor’s final challenge with 10 more points on Johnson’s third rushing touchdown, a 40-yard scamper, and a 36-yard Shawn Moffitt field goal. The Knight’s lead had swelled to 52-35.

Bortles accounted for 394 total yards (301 passing, 93 rushing) and four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) en route to offensive player of the game honors. His performance was closely matched by his Baylor counterpart, Petty, who was responsible for 373 total yards (356 passing, 17 rushing) and three touchdowns (two passing, three rushing). Petty’s three rushing touchdowns set a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl record.

Both squads boasted a 100-yard rusher; UCF’s Johnson notched 124 yards on 20 carries for three touchdowns, while Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk added 117 yards on 17 totes.

Knight Rannell Hall led all receivers with 113 yards on four catches, good for two touchdowns.

UCF linebacker Terrance Plummer, who led all tacklers with 14 stops (eight solos), was voted the game’s outstanding defensive player.

The Knights’ 52-point output was its highest point total against a ranked team in school history.

Despite allowing 42 points and 550 total yards, UCF’s defense held Baylor 11.3 points and 74.5 total yards shy of its regular-season averages.

Baylor also was stymied by 17 penalties for 135 yards. Both figures rank second in Tostitos Fiesta Bowl annals.

  • Stadium:

    University of Phoenix Stadium

  • Attendance:

    65,172

  • Offensive Player of the Game:

    Blake Bortles, UCF

  • Defensive Player of the Game:

    Terrance Plummer, UCF

  • Sportsmanship Award:

    Stefan Huber, Baylor

  • Head Coaches:

    George O’Leary, UCF; Art Briles, Baylor

  • Weather:

    Indoors

Scoring1234F
UCF 141471752
BU71381442
UCFBU
29First Downs27
44-255Rushes-Yards38-194
301Passing Yards356
20-31-2Passes (C-A-I)30-47-1
73/9Return Yards (KOR/PR)208/-1
4-164Punts (No.Yards)7-305
1-1Fumbles-Lost0-0
4-40Penalties- Yards17-135
UCFBU
70Storm Johnson 11-yard rush (Shawn Moffitt kick)
140Johnson 2-yard rush (Moffitt kick)
147Bryce Petty 1-yard rush (Aaron Jones kick)
1413Levi Norwood 30-yard pass from Petty
2113Rannell Hall 50-yard pass from Blake Bortles (Moffitt kick)
2120Petty 13-yard rush (Petty 2-pt. rush)
2820Hall 34-yard pass from from Bortles (Moffitt kick)
2828Petty 1-yard rush (Petty 2-pt. rush)
3528Breshad Perriman 10-yard pass from Bortles (Moffitt kick)
4228Bortles 15-yard rush (Moffitt kick)
4235Glasco Martin 9-yard rush (Jones kick)
4935Johnson 40-yard rush (Moffitt kick)
5235Moffitt 36-yard field goal
5242Clay Fuller 9-yard pass from Petty (Jones kick)

Individual Stats

BSUJay Ajayi – 22-134-3; Grant Hedrick – 8-29-0; Jeremy McNichols- 2-4-0; Shane Williams-Rhodes – 2-(-5)-0
UANick Wilson – 19-86-1; Terris Jones-Grigsby – 14-39-0; Anu Soloman – 23-32-1
BSU Grant Hedrick – 24/34, 309 yds, 1 TD; Thomas Sperbeck – 0/1, 0 yds
UAAnu Soloman - 28/49, 335 yds, 1 TD
BSUThomas Sperbeck – 12-199-0; Chaz Anderson – 3-80-1; Troy Ware – 1-17-0; Jake Roh – 2-9-0; Holden Huff – 1-5-0; Jay Ajayi – 5-(-1)-0
UACayleb Jones – 8-117-0; Samajie Grant – 4-69-1; Trey Griffey – 6-66-0; Terris Jones-Grigsby – 4-40-0; Austin Hill – 4-30-0; DaVonte’ Neal – 1-7-0; Tyrell Johnson – 1-6-0